Tag Archives: Cartography

Cartography Resources

Cynthia Brewer’s site colorbrewer2.org

In case you aren’t familiar here is the description from her personal web page –

ColorBrewer is a web tool for selecting map color schemes. It was reprogrammed by Andy Woodruff at Axis Maps.   Links to another project apparently started in 2008 called Scale Master see here  http://www.personal.psu.edu/cab38/ScaleMaster/ which has a host of other links and presentations but #19 is the Excel file titled “ScaleMaster for Proposed Design for Multiscale Topographic Mapping from USGS National Map Data, Cynthia Brewer and Chelsea Hanchett, Penn State Geography, July 2010”

Blurb from site:

ScaleMaster is a structured diagram for organizing multiscale mapping using multiple databases and design, selection, and generalization decisions.

In its rudimentary form, ScaleMaster is a do-it-yourself Excel file available for download (19. below). Other resources were listed and linked as we continued to develop the idea.

The ScaleMaster project was a collaboration among Cindy Brewer, Barbara Buttenfield, Larry Stanislawski, Lynn Usery, and Charlie Frye.

The research work was funded from 2008 to 2013 by the USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) through Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) grants through geography departments at the Pennsylvania State University and University of Colorado at Boulder.

ScaleMaster research was initially funded by Esri through Professional Services Agreements 2003B6345, 2003B6346, 2003B6347 and 2006B2964.

Additional papers and talks by Buttenfield on her website.

Additional papers by Stanislawski and others on CEGIS Generalization site.
All papers and presentations by the Penn State researchers are linked below.

See new developments with ScaleMaster from Guillaume Touya and Jean-Francois Girres, COGIT lab, IGN France (e.g., sourceforge; ICC2013 paper; CaGIS paper).   The ScaleMaster approach is now popular with national mapping agencies.

Cartogram Special – The Olympic Games

  • From Geographical.co.uk
  • Written by  Benjamin Hennig
  • Published in Mapping

Cartogram Special – The Olympic GamesBenjamin Hennig/viewsoftheworld.net

Which country has been the most successful in Olympic history? Benjamin Hennig charts the winners and participants of the Olympic Games

The 2016 Summer Olympics are the first Olympics to be hosted in South America. More than 10,000 athletes of the over 200 member nations are expected to compete in Rio de Janeiro as well as events in Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, São Paulo, and Manaus.

The cartogram in Figure 1 shows the countries of the world resized according to the total number of participants from each country (data as of 30 June 2016). Competing athletes are entered by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and also have to go through competitions in order to meet the entry standards for the games. Some numbers are influenced by further special circumstances: Brazil as the host nations did not have to go through all qualifying rounds and received automatic entry in some disciplines.

Athletes from Kuwait will this year compete under the Olympic flag due to its NOC having been suspended. In this map, these are still shown as representing their country. Russia also faced suspension, leading to its athletes being banned from all athletic competitions, which reduces the number of athletes competing for Russia this year. In the light of the migrant crisis, a team of ten Refugee Olympic Athletes will also participate in the games for the first time

Figure 1Figure 1


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The Hidden Histories of Maps Made By Women: Early North America

From CityLab:

The first part in a series exploring little-seen contributions to cartography.

In the 1970s, early in her career as map librarian at the New York Public Library, Alice Hudson started researching women mapmakers throughout history. With few other women in her chosen field, she wondered how many had come before her. “I thought I might find 10,” she tells CityLab.

But over the years, as she combed through maps, censuses, newspapers, and tips from colleagues, she was amazed by how many women there were in the early days of mapmaking. By the late ‘90s, she’d found over a thousand names of women who had drawn, published, printed, engraved, sold, or traded maps prior to 1900 alone.

Reading mainstream history books, or even CityLab’s coverage of oldmaps, you might never know that women historically had much of a role at all in cartography. But really, they’ve been involved in mapmaking about as long as any man has. This week, I’ll present a selection of maps, profiles of mapmakers, and stories that testify to this history. Women have made maps to chart territories, educate students, sell propaganda, convey data, argue policy, and make art. In other words, women have made maps, period. And they continue to, as this century’s geospatial revolution turns.

Which women, and when? Mapmaking spans genders, centuries, cultures, and technologies. A complete history of women in cartography would require many volumes of pages, and possibly a graduate degree. To make this series sensible for online readers, I’ve narrowed my selection to works by women mapping North America over the past 300 years. Within this “small” range is a diversity of stories, styles, and approaches that, collected together, should provoke curiosity about the many more ways women have mapped the world.

Continue reading The Hidden Histories of Maps Made By Women: Early North America

The Future of the Map – The Maps of the Future

International Map Industry Association  www.imiamaps.org

New and innovative technologies have an important impact into what cartographers are doing. In the geospatial domains we can witness, that more spatial data than ever is produced currently. Numerous sensors of all kinds are available, measuring values, storing them in databases which are linked to other databases being embedded in whole spatial data infrastructures, following standards and accepted rules. We can witness also that we are not short of ever more new modern technologies for all parts of the spatial data handling processes, including data acquisition (e.g. UAVs currently), data modelling (e.g. service oriented architectures, cloud computing), data visualisation and dissemination (e.g. Location-based Services, augmented reality). So, where are we now with all those brave new developments?

Obviously we are not short of data in many ways. Clearly we can state, that it is rather the opposite. The problem is often not that we don’t have enough data but rather too many. We need to make more and more efforts, to deal with all those data in an efficient sense, mining the relevant information and link and select the appropriate information for a particular scenario. This phenomenon is being described as “big data”. Often application developments start there. Because we have access to data, we make something with them. We link them, we analyse them, we produce applications out of them. I call this a data-driven approach.

Continue reading The Future of the Map – The Maps of the Future

The Future of Mapping is Going Indoors

November 7, 2015, 7am PST jwilliams

The Future of Mapping is Going Indoors | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

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Cartographers have a new world to map, as technology opens up the interiors of malls, museums, and other large spaces to online exploration.

CityMetric reports on the efforts by Google to start mapping the interior of buildings, which presents a whole new area of exploration for cartographers. Sending people into large venues wearing a rucksack contraption, Google is able to map the interior of spaces such as the British Museum in London, allowing viewers to move from the museum’s basement level to the fifth floor to find the location of specific exhibits.

Google has used the rucksack to build up a growing list of indoor maps… Most are large indoor venues, museums or shopping centres – places which often offer their own floorplan maps thanks to their size and the number of services on offer. It makes sense that these maps would eventually transfer to the digital arena, just as outdoor maps have.

Apple appears to be getting into the indoor mapping space as well, launching the “Indoor Survey App”, which CityMetric notes is accessible only through a direct link to the app’s page. “According to the app description, it allows users to map indoor spaces by ‘dropping points’.”

Moving beyond the 2D limitations of Google and Apple Maps, Harvard University is partnering with the Redlands, California-based SmarterBetterCiities to create 3D interior maps of the Harvard campus. SmarterBetterCities uses ESRI’s ArcGIS platform to create 3D models of interior spaces, such as a map prepared for the ESRI User Conference in the San Diego Convention Center, viewable here.

Full Story: Why the indoors could be the next frontier for map-makers



Learn From a Master-Edward Tufte Course

Please see link below for a great educational opportunity!!  Full-time students get a significant discount to take the course- $200 rather than $380 plus you get copies of 4 books.  The course is called, “Presenting Data and Information”.

“One visionary day….the insights of this class lead to new levels of understanding both for creators and viewers of visual displays.” WIRED

“The Leonardo da Vinci of data.” THE NEW YORK TIMES


27th International Cartographic Exhibition

Call for Participation, International Cartographic Exhibition 2015

The U.S. National Committee (USNC) to the International Cartographic Association (ICA) is pleased to announce the Call for Participation for the International Cartographic Exhibition 2015. The exhibition is open to all United States cartographic products, including maps, atlases, globes, digital products, educational cartographic products, digital services, and “other products” produced or modified after August 2013. Entries will be exhibited at the 27th International Cartographic Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, August 23-28, 2015. The deadline for submitting to the USNC is March 20, 2015.


Mapping New York’s Traffic Crashes

From: The AtlanticCities.com  by Sarah Goodyear   Feb 27, 2014

2013 bike crashes that resulted in injuries reported to the police.
2013 bike crashes that resulted in injuries reported to the police.


The New York Police Department doesn’t make it easy to crunch the city’s traffic fatality and injury numbers, releasing the data in a PDF format that’s difficult for developers to use. A group called betaNYC has been pushing the cops to make their data machine-readable, and new mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan might help their case.

In the meantime, it’s up to some hard-working data nerds to liberate the information locked inside the files. One civic-minded hacker named John Krauss has been scraping the data from the monthly PDF releases and making it available to anyone on the NYPD Crash Data Band-Aid. Krauss runs a site called NYC Crashmapper, where you can play around with a map that displays crashes by date, what type of user was involved, and severity of crash.  Click here to continue.




Best Maps of 2013


Maps: Where would we be without them? This was banner year for beautiful, information-dense cartography, which provided a moment of self-reflection like a giant, geographic mirror. Here are our favorite maps from 2013 that helped us find our place in the world.


(Urban Observatory is interesting, but the most popular girl names gets my vote!)